North San Antonio neighborhood deals with months-long leak amid water restrictions

Leak finally repaired Monday afternoon after numerous calls, residents say

SAN ANTONIO – A North Side neighborhood has dealt with an ongoing water leak for months but has had no luck getting it fixed.

Residents said they had called the San Antonio Water System numerous times since May but had not gotten assistance until Monday afternoon.

“I mean, this is hundreds of gallons, thousands that have been wasted,” said Andrea Palen.

Those living in the area said they have seen a steady water flow gradually grow over time.

Neighbors said SAWS told them the leak came from a city-owned water meter.

They said they haven’t seen any bills increase, and water pressure has remained steady.

“I’m out hand-watering every night when I get home from work just to keep the landscaping alive, so trying to stay compliant but at the same time looking over there going, ‘Come on guys,’” said Phillip Darrah.

With current drought conditions and stage 2 water restrictions, watching water run down the street is frustrating for many. And there is a drastic difference between people’s yards and where the running water ends up.

KSAT emailed SAWS about the issue. The utility issued the following statement:

“Regarding leaks, we are having challenges with escalating breaks and leaks. They are running higher than in recent years.

“We are working hard with 52 crews working 24/7 as well as two external contractors.

“But we have to balance escalated efforts with safety concerns: ensuring our employees have shade (we have four portable AC units we use in trenches), focusing on working more in the cooler hours of the day, and frequent water breaks.”


About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.